The Ministry of One-Anothering

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  • April 11, 2009
ministryoneanother

Every Christian is called to the ministry of One-Anothering. We are to love one another, serve one another, submit to one another, instruct one another, encourage one another, help one another, forgive one another, and so forth. This is our spiritual service. This is your ministry to the Body of Christ and the basis from which every spiritual gift should operate. It would be profitable for you to do a study of all the places in the New Testament that mention “one another”. There are a considerable number of references. You will immediately benefit by seeing that Christianity is not for hermits. There is no place for individualism in the Kingdom of God, for we are a Body of many members, each fashioned together into interdependence. You will also see that we are called to live very simple lives of quiet service to our brothers and sisters. It is neither complicated nor difficult.

People ask me all the time, “How do I know if I’m called to the ministry?” I answer by saying you are definitely called to the ministry. They think perhaps I am a prophet or I can see something that they cannot. Then I have to clarify it by explaining that all of us are called to the ministry of One-Anothering. No one is exempt. How that will eventually work itself out in your life is a wonderful mystery that you will have to discover for yourself. Only don’t look to do some great thing to begin with, just find some brothers and sisters and begin your practice of One-Anothering.

Others will ask, “But how do I know if God is calling me to a full-time ministry?” My response is that He is calling all of us to the full-time ministry of One-Anothering. I’m missing the page in my Bible that talks about a part-time commitment. There’s no such thing as a part-time ministry, a part-time minister, or a part-time Christian. It is either all the time or none of the time.

The problem with many people who aspire to some “full-time” ministry is they want to do some great thing, something immediately visible, appreciated, and recognized that will take up all their time and support them so they won’t have to work at a “secular” job. They want to start up at the top with a title and a position but they don’t know anything about the ministry of One-Anothering. They want to preach, or teach, or sing, or be up on center stage someplace.

I have counseled more than one young man who believes the Lord is calling them into some ministry. Certainly their motives are sincere, and they desire to do a good work. But upon close examination you find that they have a certain idea or presupposition about what ministry is. They imagine that having a ministry means people will come and hear them preach. They think about what it will be like to stand behind the pulpit and talk, hearing people say, “Amen!” and “Preach it, brother!”. In some cases they are looking to me to wave my hand over them or speak some word to them which will confirm their calling and give them clear direction. Or they will talk about giving up their “secular” employment so they can be in the “full-time” ministry.

HOW TO GO INTO MINISTRY THE WRONG WAY

When I was twenty-three years old I sensed that it was time for me to take a big step and enter the ministry “full-time”. I knew I was called to the ministry and I was already an associate pastor in our church, but I was impatient and anxious to devote all my time to what I thought ministry was all about – preaching and teaching. I thought going into the ministry “full-time” was some great event that would be accompanied by trumpets and heralds. I wanted to be sure of the Lord’s leading so I fasted and prayed to see if He would approve of my plans (please note how I worded that). For three days I did not eat or drink. At the end of the three days I quit my job and announced to everyone that now I was in the “full-time” ministry.

After about three months of being in the ministry “full-time” I had preached in three churches and mailed out a newsletter so everyone would know where to send their money. It wasn’t long before there was no food in the house, so we began visiting friends and relatives for “fellowship” in hopes that they would invite us to stay for dinner. We depended on the church to pay our phone and electric bills. About this time I found out that my wife was pregnant with our second child. Of course, we had no insurance.

When things were really tight I remembered a man who owed me money an hour’s drive away. Since it was dinnertime I asked my wife to fix something for me to eat on the way to this man’s house. She gave me a single Beef Jerky and a thermos of Kool-Aid because there was nothing else. Eventually I went to the food ministry our church supported and asked if I could help load trucks in exchange for one of the boxes of food. For the next few weeks we lived on microwave pizzas and frozen tortellini which we had to boil and learn to serve in a variety of interesting ways. I understand now how the Hebrews were able to complain about manna from heaven after eating it for so long. To this day I will not eat tortellini.

Eventually we had to leave our house since we couldn’t pay the rent. We moved in with my wife’s parents and lived out of a single bedroom. Since we had no money to put our things in storage, we wrapped them in plastic and put them in her parent’s garage. Meanwhile someone had told me about a small church that was looking for a pastor. It paid the amazing sum of $100 a week, which sounded like a king’s ransom to us at the time. So we went.

The church was able to increase our pay a little over time, but it was soon clear that I would have to leave the “full-time” ministry and go back to the “secular” job market to support my family. I remember when this first dawned on me, and how deeply my pride was offended. I remember praying as I drove over the Tar River bridge to get home, “Lord, I’ll do anything if You will only let me stay in ‘full-time’ ministry.” I didn’t want to go get a job because I thought that would be interpreted as a lack of faith. The following week I was offered a job, and I took it at the insistence of my wife.

Why am I sharing this with you? Am I holding this up as a model of what it means to suffer for Jesus? Is this an example of what it means to be in the ministry? By no means. I was committed, no doubt about it. Somebody might say it happened that way because you didn’t have enough faith. Maybe, but I bet I had more faith at twenty-three years old than you did. I could out-pray, out-fast, out-preach, and out-work anyone. As Paul said, “I labored more abundantly than them all.” But as the saying goes, fanaticism consists of continuing to do something when you have forgotten why you are doing it.

SPIRITUAL MINISTRY IS PRACTICAL

I have since learned (after many more trials and tests) that the loftiest spiritual service will never cause us to neglect our most menial earthly duty. If you are not faithful with respect to earthly things, who is going to commit spiritual things with you? Paul’s letters always begin with the spiritual reality and end with the earthly responsibility. This is why he urged people to remain where they are when they are first called. That is to say, if you are a husband, love your wife. If you are a wife, love your husband. If you have children, raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Be there for them. If you will not take care of your family, no matter what spiritual excuse you offer, you are worse than a pagan. And if you will not work, you will not eat.

BALANCE is the Holy Grail that we so desperately need to re-discover in the Church today. This is Paul’s counsel, and it is sound. His example was to work with his own hands to provide his own support so he could make the Good News available without charge. Technically, yes he could receive support, and he did on occasion, but most of the time he chose not to do so. When he said his last goodbye’s to the Ephesian elders at Miletus he could testify that in his three years of ministry in Ephesus he had coveted no one’s gold, silver, or clothing, but had worked to support himself and those with him so as not to be a burden to the church. What a glorious testimony!

How different were the false apostles who followed after, claiming all the support they could muster and refusing to work, eating and drinking everyone else’s groceries, robbing the widows and making merchandise of the Good News. Yet this is precisely what many who claim a “full-time” ministry do today.

Our idea of ministry is narrow and ill-defined. Most folks have one notion about ministry – preaching in a church. If I am preaching in a church, I am a minister. But if I am waiting on tables or washing dishes or working in an office or doing other menial, secular things I am not a real minister. This is the way people have been led to believe.

As a pastor I was supposed to attend ministerial conferences and gatherings. After the introductions, the first question we asked a new acquaintance was NOT how many in your church are growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, but rather, “How many people do you have on Sunday morning?” The second question we asked was, “Are you full-time or bi-vocational?” The size of your church and your status as full-time or bi-vocational helped establish the pecking order. I noticed the pastors with large churches and “full-time” ministries were typically selected to leadership positions within the denomination.

One of these successful pastors spoke once and “encouraged” those of us with small churches by saying, “God is with you, too.”

But I noticed that whenever these pastors would gather together everyone would talk about how hard it was and how they were just trying to hold on for dear life. The bigger the church the more stressed out the pastor was. They were walking around with the weight of the world on their shoulders, trying to deal with so many problems. They were so enmeshed and caught up in themselves that they seemed almost catatonic. I would come home from these meetings depressed.

I began thinking to myself, what is wrong with this picture? Why am I aspiring to do this full-time? Why am I seeking to advance myself within this group of nervous wrecks? What do I stand to gain, but more problems and stress? How did we get so far removed from the New Testament? Why are we so concerned about numbers and size when we aren’t faithful to what little we have to begin with? Why are so many pastor’s wives taking antidepressants? Why are so many pastor’s kids in serious trouble? What am I doing here? What will my family look like in twenty years?

This began a process through which God radically changed my perception of ministry. It was the beginning of the end of my career as a preacher for Organized Religion. I gave up my little penny-ante ministry and took my place with the One Flock under the One Shepherd. I do not regret that decision, for what I received is far greater than what I gave up.

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST

Friends, the situation as I have described it is not God’s intention for ministry. I have learned that there is something called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). I have seen this in operation and I know when it is at work in someone’s life and when it is not. I can look within myself and instantly know if I am cooperating with the Life or not. I give thanks to God for teaching me this, and I pray He will grant all of us to see it, for it will set captives free. Let me explain how the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus relates to our work and ministry in the Lord. It is summed up in this maxim: God will not LEAD you where His grace cannot KEEP you.

That is to say, when we undertake the work assigned to us by the Lord we will find the Life of the Lord is present to give us all the inner spiritual strength to see it through to completion. I am not saying everything will go smoothly and you will never have any self-doubt or fear. Far from it. But listen to what Paul says:

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (II Corinthians 4:8,9). His secret? “I labor according to His mighty power which works in me (Colossian 1:29).” Not I, but Christ. This is the secret to the Christian life and it is the key to all fruitful spiritual work.

The majority of people in Christian service are given methods, plans, formulas, books, tapes, seminars, conferences, education, and training in order to fulfill their ministry. There are currently more pastors than there are churches for them to pastor. These young people fresh out of college are sitting around waiting for churches to open up to them so they can come in and begin their ministry. They are looking forward to the day when they can put all they have learned into practice. What happens when they finally get elected to pastor their first church? They make a mess of the whole thing.

I worked with a fellow like this. I can truthfully say today that I love him, but at the time of our working together I came close to breaking his nose on more than one occasion. I’m sure he felt the same way about me! He was intelligent, articulate, and well-educated. He was committed to his idea of ministry. We cannot judge his heart, but we can look at the fruit of his pastoral ministry and see all the people damaged as a result of his best intentions and efforts. After driving off a sufficient number of people and putting the whole congregation and staff into an uproar, he came under such stress that his body rebelled and he was sick for three weeks. Suddenly he “felt called” to accept another church in another state, where we can only pray that he will not make the same mistakes.

What is missing? How has the Church reached such a pitiful condition? We give people a method, but God desires us to cooperate with His Life working through us. This is a spiritual matter. This cannot be taught in a classroom. People cannot pay a tuition and get a degree and say that they are now fit to shepherd the flock. A thousand times no!

BEGIN YOUR MINISTRY TODAY

When anyone comes to me now and wants my advice about “going” into the ministry, the first thing I seek to do is upset all their ideas about ministry and talk to them about being a servant, taking the back seat, being hidden from view, lowering yourself, and practicing the art of One-Anothering.

The ministry of One-Anothering doesn’t require a platform, a pulpit, a building, a budget, or a Board. You can start immediately, with no training and with no experience, and you don’t have to quit your job or do anything dramatic. You cannot be voted in, and you cannot be voted out. The Life you possess qualifies you to be in the full-time ministry of One-Anothering. Your wounds are your credentials. You can go to your brothers and sisters right now and say, “The Lord has called me to the ministry, and I am beginning it today.” Love, pray for, encourage, and serve the saints. So many times we have observed individuals who claim to be called to some great work but they neglect the basic principles of One-Anothering. There is no competition for the lowest position, so let all who love the Lord go there first and become a servant.

So what if we can’t preach, teach, or sing? Is that all there is to the Lord’s work? Hardly. You could begin a ministry of affirmation. Just make it your mission to encourage everyone you meet, building them up in the Lord. Most people tear each other down, so determine in God that you will lift up and encourage the Church at every opportunity. Keep a list of addresses and every so often send them a little note. That is a simple way to start. The possibilities are endless!

You see, ministry is not some great, profound, extraordinary thing, but ordinary things done in an extraordinary way.

Whatever our age or stage of spiritual growth we are called to the Ministry of One-Anothering. It is a rewarding call. Only let us walk in love and work diligently according to the Law of Life (not in our own strength) and we will do well. Let us learn to buy up the opportunities and redeem the time. The servants are not greater than their Master, but the servants may aspire to be as their Master. I pray the Lord will raise up more servants as a result of these words. Amen.

About Chip Brogden

Chip Brogden is an international best-selling author, teacher and founder of TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. His writings reach more than 135 nations with a simple, consistent, Christ-centered message. Connect with Chip on Twitter or Facebook.

33 Comments

  • rosemary mariani says:

    thank you for show us that have ministry sevants
    0ne other i was teacher aid in churches for 19 years help teacher servant them then one day Lord told that my turn be a teacher . training because in class and watch help them

  • Kris says:

    An interesting point made here regarding “robbing the widows”. This reminds me of my former “pastor” who would get up on stage and tell the congregation how we were “stealing from God” if we did not pay our tithes. Of course I wasn’t one of the ones that was doing the “stealing” as I was in bondage to tithing. However, when clips were shown of the “pastor’s” vacation down in the Caribbean during the service, or mention was made of other “pastor’s” lifestyles, and ESPECIALLY when the series about raising $72 Million was brought up week after week, it started to hit me that it was the CHURCH that was doing the stealing! As a single mother, I would get so angry knowing that I, and my children, were going without medical care or proper food, I was struggling to pay the monthly bills, put gas in my car, etc. JUST so I could pay my tithing! THIS to me was “robbing the widows”. I would write out that tithing check “religiously” and quite often the money was desperately needed for a doctor because either I, or my children, were sick and in need of medical attention, but noooo THAT would not be trusting the Lord! Now that I am out of that system, I can not believe looking back how much bondage I was in to religion. I pray for these so called “pastors” and “leaders” who think they are owed, and then rob from the widows. Thank you Chip for your servanthood that has brought myself and so many others, out of the bondage of darkness and into the Light. May you once again enjoy tortellini!

  • Lisa says:

    When the Lord first revealed Himself to me, I was attending a church that, as so many do, put missionaries on a pedastal as people who are TRULY serving God. I was a mom of three then and found myself angry and depressed because I couldn’t fully devote my life to God. I would pray, “God, I want to do great things for You.” One day, as I was driving my kids somewhere and praying that to myself, I heard the Lord say to me, “I made you a mom. Bloom where you are planted.” That was so freeing and it came straight from the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Chip, for putting this much needed message so efficiently into a message that many will hear. I hope it will set many captives free.

  • Penney says:

    I have been on a wonderful journey with the Lord for the past two years. I was very disillused and was becoming and becoming angry at what I was seeing inside the walls of the established chuch. All the latest “new things” from God, the so-called prophets,the tickling of ears, the gemstones, gold etch. and seeing the hurt people looking for answers. So I sat down one day and said to God, I need real answers, the truth about You, about myself, and about this walk. And He answered me each time. One of the big things was my “ministry”. I think we are all taught that we are supposed to being doing “something for the Lord”, be it a Sunday school teacher, leader, etc., which I tried, but I always felt I was not measuring up. So I once again I asked the Lord, and He put within me, that my “ministry” is being a wife and mom, being a friend, and just giving a smile to someone or saying hi and asking how they are. Now to me, I am beginning to see that mininstry is in the everyday living. I don’t have to “do” something big, just live life. God is slowing peeling away all the religiousity and showing me how to love one another just as Jesus said to do. The pressure of performance is slowly going away. I am starting to truly enjoy my life and my walk with Him.

    • Alicia says:

      Penny, the words you wrote concerning one-anothering, and the ministry, are my exact feelings, and I understand now that is how I am to minister is to my family, friends and those I meet.
      What a relief, and what peace it brings. Thanks for your sharing words.

  • Joan says:

    Dear Brother Chip,

    The ministry of one-anothering is an excellent article. I couldn’t agree more. It is encouraging for me to see that I’m not the only one who feels that way. God bless you for your courage to speak the truth in love.

  • Mickey Merrie says:

    Thanks Chip, for the clear teaching of the Truth.
    You have broken free from the “system” which is not a broken system, but another system, or rather “another’s system.”
    Welcome back to the one church that He alone is building….and because of your eyes to see, and ears to hear, you are leading others back to their first Love, and to His church.
    I for one am daily blessed, and more clearly focused because of your service to our King and His flock. As His servant you are functioning as His undershepherd, and our “bell cow.”
    Again thank you;
    Your brother;
    Mickey

  • dardrops says:

    Frankly, it’s the clergy/laity model that has people messed up here. When the “professional clergy” got reinstituted, it killed the Body of Christ that Jesus began. Now we pay people to do the serving so we can get on with our real lives. If we “do” ministry at all, it’s usually something simple, inane, and spiritually ineffective.
    This certainly is not Paul’s nor Peter’s (nor the Holy Spirit’s)idea of how the Body of Christ should function.
    Eph 4:11,12 says, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”

    Who does the work? The saints. However, in our institutional model, if the “nonprofessional” does any ministry, it’s usually something vacuous. At most, if any serving is done, it’s done for me and mine. Very rarely do you see every member of the Body of Christ living the sacrificial life of loving others inside our Christian community, let alone those on the outside.

    Christians do have to start somewhere in serving. However, I agree with you, the real issue is loving one another as Christ has loved us. And that is a deep commitment to someone. Real love is not “nice.” Real love is substantive. It causes us to tell the truth to each other, in love, and that can be very, very risky and cost us a lot.

    Eph 4:15, 16 “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

    It is certainly NOT reserved for the pastor and his staff. That is going back to the religious mindset that Christ was so keen on debunking.

    I feel incredibly joyful to a part of a Body that understands this. We have kids as young as junior high that are teaching (each other) and lovingly and sacrificially serving their friends. Frankly, we find that it is way easier to teach these young ones to sacrificially love than it is to teach the 25 and older crowd. This older crowd has often already bought into the American way of “doing church.” But when they learn it young and find the abundant life that comes only when you love others, it changes them forever.

    Barna, McDowell and others are correctly concerned with why so many kids of Christian parents leave the church in college and never come back. In my humble opinion, here’s one of the reasons why…they don’t see their parent’s Christian faith having any real content. It’s boring and ritualistic. The world has so much more stimulation to offer them. Unless they experience the real joy that comes from having a vital and dynamic Body Life experience coupled with real sacrificial loving, why would they stay.

    Without this, Christianity DOES become a religion.

    • Sylvia Sargent says:

      This was a wonderful response! It cut right to the heart of some of the issues we face and the challenges for the church today.

  • Alicia says:

    Thank you God, for this message.
    It is so simple, but yet so profound.
    For years in the churches I was affiliated with, I felt so alone. I tried reaching out to other people, but their reaction was; I was being too personal. I went through four different churches and found the same issue. I became dissinlusioned and stopped trying. After I left the church, three years ago, I have been being taught by the Lord, and spending time with Him, but now my heart leaps with joy to begin the true ministry of one-anothering. Praise God!

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you brother Chip for this wonderful article. I know that once we encounter Christ, we are changed from the inside out. Just as Paul did. Nothing can harm us and we are not afraid of what man will say. Thank You Lord for living Your life through me.

  • Roy Waldrom says:

    A great article, agree, Jesus came to serve, we know when we are in His will, all we need is being supplied, Matthew 6:33

  • Tanya says:

    It is interesting that over the centuries there has been a number of spiritual giants whom the Lord used in their respective generations. But still the Lord tarries! This article makes me ponder if the Lord is waiting not for the extraordinary ones to do ordinary things (ministry) but for the ordinary ones to overcome to do extraordinary things in the simple things of every day life. It is so clear that wherever we do whatever we do (in our home, on our secular jobs, etc)we are all “ministers” with a ministry. May the Lord continue to open our eyes to see and treasure our portion regardless of how ordinary we think we are! And in this ministry may our love for Him and our love for one another reach the point where the Spirit and the Bride say “Come”.

    Thanks for posting this article.

  • Roger says:

    I first read this teaching of yours some years ago and at that time it was a confirmation of revelation!
    I am on an Invalid Benefit and not able to hold down a full-time job – I have tried, forced MY way back in – then God allows/causes a downturn in my health so that He can get my full attention and build a relationship with me.
    My wife and I prayed, asking the Lord to bring His work to us – He answered by having someone come to us for help – each ‘work’ was followed by a period of rest. This has been our way of life for some years now, befriending and helping neighbours and others.
    The Lord Jesus has introduced us to brother and sisters in His family in N.Z., who have the same ‘ministry’, and although ‘I’ may desire to do more, ‘I’ cant – only He can heal, strengthen and direct me on His chosen path.
    I struggled with this for years, now, in my weakness, I accept it and can honestly say I love my Lord Jesus for the way that He has changed me and is continuing to mould me and teach me and use me in ‘one-anothering’.

  • Mary Darrell says:

    While in South Africa visiting my son and his wife who were administrators at an urban church there, I met and chatted with a black pastor affiliated with the church. The Holy Spirit communicated with me that I needed to listen carefully to what this man had to say. He never shared the circumstances of his salvation but apparently he did not receive much discipling at that time. He explained that after being saved he began to have a great concern for those in his community who were in need, including the many AIDS victims. At times he was almost overwhelmed by their needs and his desire to help them. In fact, he said, he began to think there was something “wrong” with him because of the strong urges in his heart. He spent many hours sharing Christ and giving whatever help he could. Finally, someone from the church (mentioned above) visited his area and the pastor shared with this man his concerns and the anxiety he had that there was something wrong with him. After further instructing him in the Word, this man told him that he most likely had a pastor’s ministry and calling. Now, the pastor said, everything began to make sense and he understood how the Holy Spirit had been working in his life.

    I have never forgotten my chat with this black pastor. Somehow I felt like I had met with a real New Testament “ministry”. My “word” for 2010 is “Simplify”. And, in regards to everything Christian I really desire to clear the field, shovel back all the trash that has accumulated over the years; to find and go back to the basics: Christianity 101.

  • Madonna says:

    Thank you Chip. I am humbled by your ability to teach us in the spirit of His Word and to also witness His work in those who respond with comments. The responses confirm to me the truth of your teaching. In my life journey, I see a pattern like Roger, of God’s grace and mercy, even in His discipline. I also know that there is a price to pay in learning His way and have had to not count the cost to continue reaching out in compassion and love. Sometimes it has meant reaching out to those who have caused pain of rejection and told me that they don’t want my attempts. God does not give up on us and we can not give up on the hope of a right relationship with one another.

  • Bob McCullough says:

    Thank you Chip for the article. It was very well written and important message.
    I can very much relate to this as I have been involved in pastoral ministries for many years at several churches. At one major conference I was often asked what I did and how many attended. When I answered that I was a volunteered asst. pastor in a pioneer work with a small congregation that was the end of discussion because I didn’t fit in with “pastors of larger churches”. It was such a weird experience.
    But since 1996 I been practicing one-another and enjoy it very much.

    Thanks again,

    Bro. Bob

  • Jim says:

    I felt I should give an example of how this all works out.
    25 years ago I met a new man when he began coming to a small church we attended. The Holt Spirit impressed on me that we were to become friends and I told him. He wasn’t sure how to deal with all that but as time went on we did become close friends. Well the small church blew up for a whole host of reasons and we sort of lost contact. We saw or talked once in a great while but that was it. The blowup from the church left a lot of hard feelings that haven’t healed to this day. At the urging of the Holy Spirit I got back in contact with my friend. When he came to see me he talked of a drinking & drug problem that he was working thru. I have some background in working with those sorts of problems so I jumped right in. We went thru a lot of ups and downs but I praise God that he is sober & dry today and loving the Lord more than ever. My friend has always helped people and has never seemed to get much in return not that he was expecting anything. The Holy Spirit laid it on my heart to give him a blessing and I followed thru on it. It was a large thing to him and I told him the Holy Spirit was just returning the blessing he had been to others. The part of the story is today he called to tell me that as much as the blessing meant to him our friendship meant more. That really made my day and I felt it sort of went along with what Chip was talking about.

  • Doris Paxton says:

    After my precious husband of 55 years died in August, I asked the Lord, “What now?” He reminded me of a vocational notebook I wrote in Jr. High. I was unable to use my church library because it was only open between Sunday school and church and on Wed. nights, so I used literature from a neighbor from another denomination. I got an “A”, but even then I considered it a vocation, rather than a ministry. My husband and I served in an interdemonational “Lay Witness” movement, which I found to be the most exciting ministry I had ever even heard of. The results reverberate to this day, (mostly positively, but some preachers didn’t want to pastor a bunch of on-fire fanatics who wanted to tell everybody about Jesus.) After reading your article I realize I don’t have to go overseas or help the Haitians. I have a ministry right here and I plan on ministering as long as the Lord allows.

  • julie stewart says:

    thank you so much, i needed this article. i feel i am so lacking in the area of service to my brothers and sisters in the Lord. i work all day, come home and babysit grandchildren until bedtime, then its morning and the same routine all over again. i dont attend ‘church’ because it is so sickening to see the twisting of scripture to promote success and prosperity. so pretty much, other than family, i am around noone. my job consists of me driving all day, contact with noone. i dont know how He will ever be able to use me. any brotherly or sisterly advice out there? i am 49 and feel like time is being wasted.

    • Bob McCullough says:

      Julie,

      Your time is not being wasted. If so, then same for everyone else! Whatever you are doing even it’s the same ol’ routine do it as onto the Lord. To start out the day ask the Lord to bless your day whatever you are doing. He is already using you! Just thank Him? And ask the Lord if there is something He would have you do. He will answered your prayer knowing your situation. Our God is very creative in working with each individual.
      As for attending church, pray as to where God wants you and even better yet find a house church or you can start one.

  • Miguel Gonzalez says:

    My dear brother Chip i have been reading from your web site, your e-books, and participated of some of the webinars. Doing some reflections about the increasing of Christ in all i have a question. How can we understand the affirmation of the increasing of Christ in all things when we see the actual state of our world. I know the Lord warned us about wars, rumors of wars and so on, but how we can understand it? Shouldn´t be different? I mean so many wrong things happening are by some meaning a testimony of the return of Christ, of His increasing? Thanks my brother.

  • Joanie says:

    Dear Brother Chip: Thankyou for this teaching, and I thankyou all of you for sharing. I too felt I was doing nothing for God, until one day, after a long trial, my dryer broke down, and I met a woman at the laundry mat. I sensed a connection with her. We got into a conversation some how, and she shared her horrible trial she had gone through. It matched my own to a tee. I , however did not go through it alone, but leaning on jesus…I listened to her fully. Then I said, now it’s my turn. I told her a story that matched her own. All the comfort I received from God, and scriptures that strengthened me came along with my story. It ended that this woman was encouraged, strengthened and healed before my eyes. She held on to my hand while I was trying to leave with my laundry. She was raised by a baptist minister and said I had spoken to her and she was reminded of her lost faith. She would be ok. I then realized that because I was hearing from God, and leaning on Him for strength, my well was full enough to share with others. The words from my mouth amazed me, it seemed all the comfort I received from my Lord, was inside of me and ready to give to another.

  • MOHANDAS PALAN says:

    Dear brother Chip, Thanks and love to you…!!!
    We are overwhelmed by reading the Article #4. Thanks for such a wonderful and encouraging Article. What i understood is the entire Article is summed up with begining of the first passage of the Article..the Ministry of One-Anothering is–loving,caring, instructing,serving,encouraging, helping,submitting,and forgiving One-Another. Wow..What a wonderful thought, its surely merging with the Word of God..!!! Thanks bro. once again.. Help each one to edify one-Another..!!!God bless..!!!

  • Arlene Zanatta says:

    Thanks Chip for a wonderful article – we need to pin this one on the wall for a good reminder.

  • Jocelyne Ramana says:

    Jésus Amour vit en moi et Il a montré l’exemple… Exercer le “One-Anothering, oui Père… Le vrai ministère. Merci Chip!

  • zotha Myeni says:

    Yes I needed this teaching, Amen.

  • Wilma Korthuis says:

    I am grateful for this teaching. There are so many applications I can see.
    Wilma Korthuis

  • Regina Sanchez says:

    Beautiful teaching! May the Body of Christ hear this message, receive it and following after HIM and not their pastors.

  • Elizabeth Yeboa says:

    Awesome! I am just thankful for such wonderful confirmation of almost every little aspect of what I experienced just this weekend. It seemed to be a prolonged “sharing of my quiet time” with my Mum. Then a pastor friend visited and as we got into sharing it all seemed to fit so well with what my Mum and I had been sharing that whole morning. She even confronted me about not “, saying anything. I remember saying I could only say what HE was saying. Anyway, when I heard what brother Chip was saying: “Sometimes He doesn`t want you to say a word”, I just thanked the LORD in my heart. As for the Pastor friend that came over it is amazing to hear that what we were talking about concerning how the LORD would lead us to share in a natural and unplanned and unforced way as opposed to what he was telling us namely: almost having to force “them” to do what he expected of them. In the end, the time of sharing ended with a prayer and I could just see as I was listening to the “reaching up, reaching in and reaching out” That you were sharing, that this is really the way. I just needed to share this because I am right in the middle of this course which is speaking right into my life. Thank you and may the LORD continue to bless and keep you and continue to work in us all to will and to do for HIS good pleasure. Shalom

  • Diana Walton says:

    This article so described what happens in every organized church I have been in. And when things get messed up and are falling apart, suddenly the ministers feel “called” to go somewhere else! The whole system is set up to diminish any real growth from the saints and exalt the so called clergy. To criticize this when you are within the system immediately gets you labeled as a rebel which as we all know is as the sin of witchcraft! We have complicated and brought to no effect, the simple Gospel of Christ. Thank you Bro. Chip for stating it so clearly here.

  • Jacqueline Johnson says:

    Thank you for this article. I have been sharing it ever since I found it.

  • Pamela Matthews says:

    yes the Lord loves a humble spirit and contrite heart. in this is a house where He can dwell. love the simplicity and practicality of ministering just where you are – one anothering. too often I have seen a spirit of position and plaudits working in what is mistaken for ministry for the Lord. Reaching Up first so imperative, knowing the Lord’s will and plan – then in and out where the Teacher is with us. God bless. Praise and glory to our God Most High.

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